The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #166577   Message #4008970
Posted By: Bonnie Shaljean
15-Sep-19 - 03:26 PM
Thread Name: Brexit and music
Subject: RE: Brexit and music
Worth quoting in full [ignore the inexplicable blank space after "not making a living" and keep scrolling down]

David Knopfler:

"I will say this one last bloody time to have it on record for the next person who clearly doesn’t care to understand why UK musicians are sensibly 98% in favour of Remain and not Brexit and will continue to be so until Hell freezes over.

If I am offered work as a musician, it makes very little difference to me in practical terms whether it’s a one hour plane ride to anywhere in the UK or anywhere in the EU. I jump on a plane and go to work. The local agent has some paperwork to take care of but the only difference to me personally is usually the eight seconds it takes me to show my fabulous, much beloved, and massively appreciated, blue zone European passport if passing into another EU country that these populist, reactionary, moronic, shitheads want to deprive me of. Even that little effort isn’t necessary at all within the Schengen Zone.

If however I want to play in the US it’s a completely different ball of wax. I have to prove to the US authorities that I am an “exceptional” talent, or whatever worrisome phrase it is they use, fill in lengthy forms online, attend an interview at the US Embassy in London at 7.30am to plead my case along with my band - ie an overnight stay at a London Hotel, handing over a shedload of serous money for a visa for myself and another shedload for whoever I require to accompany me - and then do it all again for the next trip where any change in lineup btw would probably scupper the enterprise. To say that this is a royal pain in the arse doesn’t begin to describe it.

Oh, and for bands with gear, and worse, merchandise, the difficulties compound. Imagine having to pay customs and excise on your CDs at every border and boundary as you arrive at them? Or have to create authorised expensive carnets of your equipment that can then be challenged at every border by customs and immigration officials. It becomes effectively impossible to tour Europe on an economic time scale and to carry CDs in your van. If playing in the US were as easy as Europe I’d have been doing regular shows there every few months for the last twenty years.

I stopped flying to the US by flying into Toronto to get to Upstate NY because there was usually a two hour queue to get across the border and a one hour delay being interviewed by US immigration officials at the border. It was less work to fly through Boston and get it all done at the airport with a 30 min queue. To imagine these kinds of difficulties and costs translated to working in Europe would mean, for 80% of gigging musicians, the difference between making a living and not making a living.

This is also where our tax authorities pick up huge wodges of cash as invisible earnings from all of our businesses that currently enjoy freedom of movement. Hundreds and hundreds of plane loads of us going in and out of the other 27 countries hourly... all being bollocked by Faragist, xenophobic, little Englander, reactionary, dogma. These revenues will be drastically hit if and when, as these insensitive, unapologetic, pro-government, sphincters intend, it all comes to a crashing end on October 31st 2019.

It was an idiotic gamble David Cameron made to nobble his ERG supporters and he lost (!) and as a result we are getting the short shitty stick and I’m mad as hell about that and will absolutely remain mad as hell until this assault on my human rights and my economic well being ends, and leaving the European Union is trashed. It can’t come a day too soon for me so please don’t dish out any of the slack litany of cobblers leave voters have been taught to parrot about this. I hope this is clear enough and is the last time I need to spell this lunacy out. All that before even considering yellow hammer or driving permits and whatever other needless fuckeries this will throw up just because Johnson wanted Cameron’s job, the utterly shameless, lying knob."